Posts Tagged ‘indian vegan food


Vegan Food in Mumbai: Kathiyawadi Jalsa in Andheri East


THE BEST MEALS I HAD IN 2016 were at an unnoticeable restaurant in Andheri East, outside Varma Nagar, on Andheri Kurla Road, across the road from Teli Galli, and you’ll be surprised to learn how a place owned by a South Indian and run by boys from Madhya Pradesh can have you going back several days in a row for authentic Kathiyawadi food. I remember seeing a small blackboard outside the establishment and thinking it was cute that an eatery could hope to entice people with the day’s special vegetable dishes scrawled with chalk in Gujarati. It succeeded in luring me in for sure, and it has taken me a year of eating at Kathiyawadi Jalsa to write this review.

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IT’S AS BIG AS A SMALL ROOM, this delightful, uninviting Mumbai restaurant, and so undetectable that not even a lot of ‘foodies’ who reside in Varma Nagar have knowledge of Kathiyawadi Jalsa‘s existence. But that’s good for me – I love all things exclusive and obscure – and I’d rather great things stay that way. Most people, unable to look beyond what they see, walk right into Pallavi (the garish and unremarkable multi-cuisine of the area; every area has at least one such garbage dump), and the commoners eat food made the way they think: without thought.

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YOU MUST ASK UPON ENTERING Kathiyawadi Jalsa (even if you can read Gujarati) what the day’s special sabzis are, for those are the vegetable dishes ready in case you’re starving. The thalis are to be avoided, for they bring with them not only the dairy-based sweet, curd and buttermilk but also the watery dal. And not ordering the thali will get you much bigger portions of the veggies, so ask for Lasaniya Bataka (garlicky potato curry, their staple), and one of the other specials if they sound interesting or order stuff à la carte and have the healthier breads on the menu as well.

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MOST OF THE VEGETABLE DISHES are sure to excite anyone who hasn’t tried Kathiyawadi food before; it’s wonderfully spicy stuff and goes terrifically with the thepla and any type of rotla. I don’t want to recommend anything here – this is one of the Indian cuisines you must try everything of and find your likes and dislikes – but will I will suggest that you taste the three khichdis when you’re done with the veggies and breads after several visits to Kathiyawadi Jalsa.

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KATHIYAWADI JALSA IS THE RESTAURANT you want to go to for tasty, filling and affordable meals when you’re near Andheri Station. For some reason the eating house also goes by the name of “Hotel Gurukripa” but it shouldn’t be hard to find if you follow my directions. Please remember to tell them two, three, four times that you don’t want any dairy products in your food, because they’re almost always running around and tend to forget instructions. I’ve sent back rotis and theplas and rotlas several times because they were slathered with ghee (clarified butter). Yeah, I’m like that.

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RATING: 3.5/5

Kathiyawadi Jalsa – A/22, Gopal Bhuvan, Andheri-Kurla Road, opposite Teli Galli, Andheri East 400069

Phone: 02226842958, 02226842959

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Vegan Recipe: Tameta Nu Shaak (Tangy Tomato Curry)

I HAVE BEEN cooking for over a year now and am on the verge of quitting it completely because it is highly stressful for me and also a fucking waste of my time. I am to be served and fed, not to lose my jet-black hair over how much salt to add. “Add salt to taste” tells me nothing, so I’ve almost always added either too little (that was easily fixed) or too much.

What I’m sharing is a recipe of the most comforting food I’ve eaten: tameta nu shaak. My mother and grandmothers used to make this at least once a week and I’d always shown my appreciation by wolfing it down with several chapatis (rotlis in Gujarati, 13 is my record) slathered with ghee, followed by a bowl of rice with dollops of ghee on it. I would then drink several glasses of cold salted buttermilk.

Ghee is not vegan; I can’t even stand the smell of it anymore and it comes from tortured, enslaved, exploited cows and buffaloes, so don’t eat it. Ghee is also extremely unhealthy as is dairy in general, and just look around at all the “pure vegetarians” sick, fat and crippled by disease caused by their own eating habits. Buttermilk is not vegan either and is a byproduct of animal exploitation, but I still love buttermilk, so I make dairy-free buttermilk (I’ll post the recipe someday) when I’m really in the mood for it.

So here’s how to make this tangy tomato curry:

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a kadhai, add ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add ¼ teaspoon hing (asafoetida) and stir for 30 seconds because you have nothing better to do, and then throw in ½ kg of diced tomatoes, add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and ½ teaspoon cumin powder. Now add a few small chunks of jaggery, exactly 1 teaspoon of salt (not “to taste”, motherfucker – exactly one teaspoon) and let this whole business simmer for a while. When the tomatoes are soft and the aroma is in the air, you’ll know this shit is ready, but stir it about for a bit if you want to feel important.

There’s no need to top it with sev because there’s no need to make things crunchy and you’re no Tarla Dalal, so shut the fuck up and keep stirring.

Now serve it hot with chapatis or rice to four people or give them the finger and eat it all yourself. Fuck them. You’re vegan and you deserve a tall glass of cold salted vegan masala chhaas with this vegan/vegetarian/Jain/halal/kosher soul food.


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Vegan Food Review: The Calcutta Club

Mouthwatering Accidentally Vegan Dishes at Mee Marathi


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